Reliability is Malleable by Policy and Practice—It Means Reliable Equipment Depends on Life Cycle Choices and Skills

Equipment reliability is malleable by choice of your reliability policy and quality of your reliability practices

You ensure reliability of plant, equipment and machinery by managing and controlling the quality of outcomes during the life-cycle to the results that guarantee outstanding operating asset reliability in service


Slide 20 – Reliable Equipment is a Result—Reliability is Malleable by Choice of Policy and Quality of Practice


Whether you have reliable equipment or not is all a matter of choices made and the skills used during every phase of the life cycle.

In the slide above you see a solid bath tub curve typical to industrial machines and equipment. Its technical name is the Rate of Occurrence Of Failure, or ROCOF, curve for the asset.

The bath tub curve is the sum of all the individual component failure curves across the service life of an equipment item. The infant mortality failure of components leads to a high ROCOF early in the life of equipment. Once those problems are resolved, the asset moves into a long period of random failures. When components age, as stress accumulates within their microstructure, or the materials degrade with time, contamination, or use, the ROCOF curve again rises. For each of the three phases of equipment service life there are known reasons that cause their components to fail. The early life failure region arises because errors induce failure of components. In the random failure region, component breakdown is caused by overstress of microstructures. In the wear out region, microstructures have degraded, or material has worn away, and the component can no longer continue in operation.

Under the solid ROCOF curve is the dotted curve for a far more reliable equipment item. You create highly reliable equipment by ensuring it has even more highly reliable working parts.

The failures in each of the regions are addressed by ensuring that causes of microstructure degradation and deformation are prevented. The slide lists numerous successful practices appling to each region that prevent component failure. In the error induced a zone of early life failure the use of accuracy, precision, higher-level skills, error elimination practices, and the like bring greatest success. During the random life where stress induces component failure, techniques that eliminate the possibility of overstress, like using precision maintenance, application of operator ITLC, (inspect, tighten, lubricate, clean), and deformation and degradation management during operation bring great success. At the end of life where usage has accumulated stress in parts, or materials have degraded over time, techniques such as better material selection, degradation management, and better maintenance strategy, and precision operation and maintenance vpractices during the service life, help extend component operating life.

It is certain that you either destroy equipment reliability or improve reliability by the choice of your policies and the quality of your practices in delivering those policies. To have reliable equipment, you must remove parts failure causes by changing your asset life-cycle, operations, and maintenance policies to those of world-class practice, and deliver high accuracy work quality.

You can guarantee to get highly reliable equipment if you make the right life cycle choices and use the right skills rightly.


This slide is a companion to the new Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness book. The book has extensive information, all the necessary templates, and useful examples of how to design and build your own Plant Wellness Way enterprise asset life cycle management system-of-reliability. Get the book from its publisher, Industrial Press, and Amazon Books.

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